18 April 2011

POST #266

A while back, I was passed a batch of demos from Glasgow-based band Johnny Reb. The demos were impressive enough that I gave them a shout out here, and posted a couple of the songs. Since then, the band have hit the studio, and today they are releasing their first album, The Portugal Years.

Oh, and it's free.

In order to hype the album a bit, I asked one of the guys from the band if he'd be willing to answer a few quick questions. He agreed (otherwise this would be a pretty pointless post) . So now I give you. . .

A cozy promotional chat (via email) with Johnny Reb:

DeadBilly -- Introductions, please.

Johnny Reb. Born and Brazed in the north of England. Seduced by Glasgow.

DB -- How’d the group come together?

JR -- This tends to differ depending on who you ask. At the moment I’m telling people it was a lonely hearts column ad that was misprinted.

DB -- Who would you say are your biggest influences?

JR -- The Close Lobsters & chronic Alopecia.

DB -- How did the hook up with Boz Boorer (producer of the album, and Morrissey’s guitarist) come about?

JR -- A sordid exchange of emails loaded with innuendo. Boz agreed to take us if we walked his dogs and washed up after dinner. It was a fair deal. His wife is an exceptional cook.

DB -- You’ve got a couple of big name guests on the album. Anyone you haven’t worked with that you’d like to?

JR -- Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star fame..

We invoked the spirit of John Tams at rehearsals last week. He was a bit of a tosser though..

DB -- Since it’s not likely I’ll be in Scotland anytime soon, tell me a bit about the local music scene.

JR -- Sadly it's dominated by pale Snow Patrol imitations..

Beauty lurks under rocks.. Edinburgh School For The Deaf are really something. Dam Mantle is a load of bollocks though. Frankly we’re embarrassed to say we’re part of the Glasgow music scene since that bag of warts got hold of synth players.

DB -- How did you come to the decision to put the album out for free download?

JR -- My grandmother is quite hard up at the moment.

DB -- On the same subject, since the music is free, do you still have your day jobs?

JR -- Yes, sadly these celestial scores we produce are still clearly sectioned under ‘Hobbies and Interests’ for the meantime.

DB -- The amazing cover art was done by your guitarist, Joseph Bucklow. Since I was an art major way back in the college days, I have to ask where did he study art/ how long has he been creating pieces?

JR -- Joseph has been churning out his turgid nonsense for too long. No formal art schooling as such, just fortunate to have a lot of pens and paper lying around as a small child.

DB -- I see you have some shows planned for the locals. If you’re ever in Arizona can I get on the guest list?

JR -- Of course. On the condition that you take us out for cocktails and dancing afterwards at the most questionable venue that comes to your mind.

Arizona seems a big enough place to lose a rather tiresome lead singer. I can see the headlines now.

Big thanks to Johnny Reb for taking the time to talk. For more info on the band, and to sample the tracks or download the album (again, it's free!), head on over to their Bandcamp page.

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